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tv   Senator Klobuchar Remarks at Polk County Democrats Spring Dinner  CSPAN  May 10, 2017 8:48am-9:31am EDT

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>> speaking at a fund-raising dinner at des moines, iowa, amy klobuchar talked about the future of the democratic party enter economic policy agenda including work force training. infrastructure spending and college affordability. she is introduced by the democratic party chair polk county iowa. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you, danny. all right, well, we were clear on out of your thanks everybody for coming. it was a wonderful dinner. [laughing] just kidding. before introduce our headline speaker tonight i want to talk about the flag that is behind me. a lot of people have been asking, that's a weird looking flag. you really had to modify it to get it on a. is at the right like? i can tell everybody tonight that is of the right flag.
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the last time you probably saw this flag it was draped across the east village for dan president obama's last campaign speech of his entire career. we wanted it to be here tonight to show we've had good days in the past, we have a good day today, and will have a good days in the future. [applause] >> so barack obama, no pressure, senator klobuchar. [laughing] amy klobuchar is the daughter of a newspaper man an elementary school teacher she was the first woman to be elected to the u.s. senate in minnesota's history and is one of the most effective members of the u.s. congress. that's not just me saying it. it was reported last year that she was ranked number one in the senate with the most bills enacted into law in the 114th congress. [applause]
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>> she has worked on a lot of cracked on a sex traffickers, have lashes landmark legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, and she has reached out to work with democrats and republicans on the 2014 farm bill. our legislative record is amazing. in a recent minneapolis star tribune poll, 72% of minnesotans approved of a work including a majority of republicans. [applause] a majority of republicans. most recently she was one of the first senators to call for independent commission on the chump campaigns ties to russia. -- trump. [cheers and applause] and i think she'll continue her work investigating because i'm sure there's much more to find out. speaking of that guy he will try not to say his name tonight, somehow the sexist boss from
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every '70 \70{l1}s{l0}\'70{l1}}) sitcom got into the oval office. a lot of us don't know how it happened but one thing has been clear since the women's march, and that is is going to take the women of the democratic party to say the democratic party. [cheers and applause] >> it is going to take the women and the mothers and the sisters and the daughters and the grandmothers to save our country. send it to amy klobuchar is one of those women. please join me in welcoming her to polk county. [applause] >> unbelievable. well, thank you so much, sean. hello, good neighbors. it is great to see all of you. i had no idea why this flag was robin kelly said it.
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could we just have a hand for president obama and michelle and the incredible work that they did? [applause] >> this is truly a beautiful iowa sunny blue sky day, and as i've told many of you before, i can see iowa from my porch. [laughing] so it is good to be back with friends, and i thought has gone to come down here to cheer you guys up, but you have cheered me up, okay? this is incredible energy. congressman smith was never given up on caring about this country. thank you for your work. danny, thank you they cannot represent your members, he represent the working people of america, and thank you for that incredible speech. [applause] >> thanthank you, bruce, and ale elected officials that are here, and then thank you, rob, for that wonderful speech, even though you trash talked my state. you think i didn't notice at?
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right on c-span you trash my state? [laughing] i think my favorite line was when you said that when not going to be moping around in the backyard, right? instead, whatever today you guys are going to be yelling from the porch in the front yard, okay? so thank you for that. [applause] >> a lot has happened since i was here back in the fall before the election. some really big things have happened, like back in january on that inaugural stage. i was officially displaced as the most famous slovenian american by melania trump. [laughing] that is been, she was actually born an hour away from where my relatives are from an slovenia, true story. every time i look at her, it's like looking in the mirror. [laughing] >> okay. so i could spend, as your speakers before me, my entire speech talking about donald trump.
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there's endless material, right? look at just what happened in the last week when democrats and republicans, after working together for months nine the scenes and across the aisle finally averted a government shutdown, right? we did that in congress, got that done. and you know it isn't easy to do in this time of gridlock. we've had many of these close calls. for me the lowest moment of these verge of disaster episodes was actually a few years ago when we had the fiscal cliff boat and we voted until three in the morning a new year's eve. and there i was, new year's eve, this romantic moment, this is a true story, on the senate floor. the clock strikes 12. i looked to my left and i see harry reid. i look to my right and i see mitch mcconnell. every girls dream on new year's eve. [laughing] >> so we got out of that disaster, right? and last week despite all of the
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rancor that we see in our politics, we averted disaster can. undoubtedly that can be kept in funding for our troops, medical research, agriculture, roads, ridges and broadband, minors health care and planned parenthood. [applause] >> and what did donald trump do? he sent out a tweet the next day threatening a quote major shutdown next fall. that's not leadership. that's tweet or ship, okay? without a cost estimate, no regard for the consequences about passes, their health care bill on tuesday, millions of the miller test of millions of americans are what is the biblical to the doctor's office and he has his guy pals over and there they are big backslapping celebration. he tweets big win, from the oval
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office. and then there's the attacks on refugees, on immigrants, even on judges. it was alexander hamilton, good one to quote these days, who said judges don't have the power of the purse or the sword. they get their power from the constitution, and it is our duty to stand up for judges and an independent judiciary. that's what we do as democrats. [applause] >> he has attacked the press as well and i'm the daughter of a journalist, so i take this really personally. i heard someone last week in who put it like this. president donald trump is a man who tweets everything that enters his head, yet he refuses to acknowledge the constitutional amendment that allows him to do it. guess what. we democrats not only acknowledge the first amendment, we embrace it and we will defend it every step of the way.
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[applause] >> will so donald trump kind of likes it when we talk about him, right? but here in iowa you pride yourself on being first. first in corn production, first in hogs, first in caucuses pic and i know you're up for the challenge but here it is. let's be the first democratic party dinner with the rest of the night we don't even mention his name, okay? are you up for it lacks. [applause] >> so tonight let's talk about something else. let's talk about how we move forward as citizens, as a party, as the country. because here we speak from the heartland. we are the people in the middle of the country. there are many in this room who were in the middle class, middle income can't even a few who could be described as middle age. [laughing] >> and yes from time to time in
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the middle politically. my husband is the third of six boys. his mom and dad have four boys at his mom really wanted a girl, got pregnant again and had identical twin boys. that's a true story. [laughing] they all lived in a mobile home in mankato minnesota and he was the middle child, and he got forgotten a lot in fact, one time, this is true, the actually forgot him at a gas station and they didn't realize it until they were miles away. i've never done that to him, but we all know that it isn't easy being the middle child. what this time those of us in the middle going into this 2018, in these next years come in the middle of this country will not be forgotten. we have a voice, and people should listen. because both iowa and minnesota have a strong tradition of grassroots politics, yes, artie caucuses, yes, but we also have a lot of independent voters, and
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not all the states in the country have it. if you don't believe me about minnesota i have three words for you. governor jesse ventura, all right? [laughing] so what do we do now as we move forward? first we have to acknowledge the elephant, or made i will call it the donkey in the middle of the room, and that's what happened this fall and it was a tough tough night. i was going around our minnesota parties with our junior center to come al franken. i just like doing that. so we're going around, and the microsoft and is getting worse and worse and finally i go home. and they get a text for my daughter and at that moment i realize i have forgotten that she was actually, she's in college, she was at hillary parties in europe. i felt guilt because i forgotten she was there. i was so taken by what was happening and the text said, mom, what should we do now? i vote for this long mommy guilt text back. you need to go now.
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you on your roommate, the subway is still running, you need to leave. you have class tomorrow. this isn't going well. she's probably not going to speak and my daughter writes back to me immediately, mom, i mean our country. so i told her the next morning, i said, you know, our country has been through tough times before. the congressman can tell you that if we've been through wars, injustice, discrimination, financial crises, deep-seated discord. through it all with our study peaceful transition of power,, kept moving forward and that is what we need to do now. and i still believe that today. ..
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that is what the democratic party needs to focus on. while there are plenty of reasons that we lost in 2016, cr at least one that we can definitely fix for next time. we can make sure that no one is left behind and where we go and who we talk to and what we say and and what we do. and we know a little bit about how important that is in the heartland. because minnesota matters. georgia matters. wisconsin madison. west virginia matters. nebraska matters, ohio matters. and yes iowa matters! [applause] i learned what matters by visiting all 87 counties in my state every single year.
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and it gets pretty interesting when it is a smaller county and you are looking for something new to do every time. at one point in one of my smallest counties, my staff found a new business for me to visit. and it was called insect inferno. [laughter] subtitles, we kill bedbugs with heat. and they literally have a truck that they put the mattresses and they took me into the truck. they said we want to see what it is like that we will only turn up the heat halfway. true story! so is a former republican candidate for president once said, we want to win. we do not show up in the places where we are comfortable. that's right. we also show up where we are uncomfortable. even when they turn up the heat.
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and that is part of what we as democrats need to do in this next election. we leave no people behind. [applause] when i go through my state i hear a lot. i hear about dad who can't be sure the sons and daughters will have the support that they need to take over their family farm. mothers that cannot figure out how to pay for their kids prescriptions when they double in cost. teenagers who cannot understand why the friends have gotten hooked on opioids. manufacturers that cannot find workers to fill jobs. small business owners who cannot get a broadband connection. that is too many cant's. we are a nation of can. we can build it, we can do it and we can do it. i think america is at its best when we are a nation that
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thinks and export to the world. the truth is it's not just how much money wall street makes in the short term. that helps iowa and minnesota. instead, we should measure our success by how mainstreet drives in the long-term. and i have seen what success looks like.i visited the energy company in mason city where they are creating jobs in the midwest instead of feeding oil sheiks in the mideast. or when i saw popcorn heaven in waterloo where innovation has led to popcorn flavors like dill pickle and southwest hot wings. the small business owners that we see across town to my state show us what is possible. that is really the center of this competitive agenda.so i think of it with four corners. it is kind of like the state of iowa. square but cool, right?
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first, the nation can only compete in one corner. if workers are paid fairly and prepared for the 21st century economy. the basic bargain this used to be that if you work hard and play by the rules, you could get ahead. you can make sure that your kids and grandkids were better off. now, far too many times the cost of that basic programs too high. people are working two or three jobs with savings that do not add up to much more than they can put under a cash cushion. they are doing everything so they can get by. but it does not leave them much time to do anything else. we need to give workers a raise, right? and we need to make sure that no good job goes unfilled because workers are not getting training. and i think as a democratic party, we have to make an
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important statement. that is, not everyone wants to go to a four-year college. and we need to respect that! [applause] my own sister did not. not at first. she did not graduate from high school. and she got her ged. gina where she got her ged? in iowa. she got a job in iowa and went to community college in iowa and eventually she got her four year degree. after all of that she got the best score of her accounting exam in iowa that the ark. that is a little trash talking for you. [applause] she has been an accountant ever since. there is not one path to success. that's what needs science engineering math education in our high schools. i know some people think about
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that stem idea and their minds go to silicon valley and mark zuckerberg and phd's and astrophysics or whatever. but that is not the only thing we are talking about. we are also talking about blue-collar jobs, moved stem jobs. we need high school auto classes. with high-tech spins. there is a shortage of welders. so why not teach kids who want to get that skill, that skill earlier? let's get students a jumpstart and learning about computers and manufacturing research. the student sitting in our classrooms they are the ones that work in the labs, they will follow through on joe biden. those are the students that will end up at mayo and carver. they are the ones it will help save the families from devastation of alzheimer's and
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find a better treatment for opioid addiction. we need to support community colleges.president obama's two years of free community college, that is still an idea. it is great and let's do it! we need to strengthen apprenticeship programs. and a bill i have with susan collins court the republican in maine. there is a reason that unions have been running these programs for so long. they work. we need to make sure that all veterans can get good jobs when they come home. and that the skills they learned overseas are needed here. and we need to bring down the cost of four-year college and ease the burden of student debt. if billionaires can refinance their second home and their airplanes, i think our students should be able to do the same. [applause] >> you see, many paths. and every person in this country deserves a clear path to a good job.if you are --
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they have preached so many times, these paths can use some clearing and rural america. with the poverty rate for children's actually five points higher than urban areas. warehousing is hard to come by. you know all know that. and it is hard to stay in business. it is time for us to make a real commitment to our rural communities. by expanding broadband and supporting our farmers, building affordable housing and taking on world poverty. that is how we leave no one behind. [applause] my grandpa never graduated from college. he never even graduated from high school. he worked 1500 feet underground and easily minnesota in the
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mines and he saved money and a copy can't extend my father to college. he went to community college and and went to minnesota and then interviewed everyone from mike to get to ronald reagan ginger rogers. [laughter] my mother taught second grade until she was 70 years old. we lost her a few years ago but i still have adults come up and tell me that she was their favorite teacher. so what i learned growing up is that no matter where you come from, you can succeed. and now i'm here today, the grand daughter of an iron minor, the daughter of a -- that is how america works! [applause] could my grandpa do
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that today? and that is how we get to the second corner. this economic agenda. we need to give american businesses incentives to invest and innovate right here in america. 13,000, 13,000 is the number of hard-working americans that were laid up in the latest. with china producing half the world's steel and heavily subsidized production american steel companies just cannot compete. and american workers got hurt as a result. we need fair trade. we know that with our agriculture products in minnesota and in iowa. we need to sell american vista customers around the world. but we must do more to catch foreign companies who are breaking our trade laws. do you know what our story is? we brought president obama's
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chief of staff up to the iron range and he saw firsthand. he met a guy named dan hill, when everyone had spoken he spoke at the end. and he said you know, mr. mcdonough, my kid just graduated from preschool and the teacher asked what they want to be when they grow up. in my kid i want to be a steelworker. just like my dad. and he took a steelworker t-shirt and he threw it across this big long table two mcdonough. and i am saying, please catch the teacher! you were in football! and he caught the t-shirt and he said make it come true mr. mcdonough. and dino what happened?we pushed and we put and the head of the company has said the reason that they were able to open the plants again was because we made an even playing field. and our workers can compete on any even playing field. and that is true.
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[applause] another example, a little closer to home in iowa. american biofuel. renewable fuel have become a homegrown economic generator for iowa and minnesota. these companies are also becoming more and more innovative. minnesota, south dakota, but the plant in transport is turning out so you - you will. the renewable fuel standard, standard i fought to strengthen has created more than 850,000 jobs in 10 years. decrease our dependence on foreign oil and has increased our investment in clean energy. so it was truly a shock when this administration repenting. just when they got in after we had heard that they were supportive of the renewable fuel standard.
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in there were changes. then less of a shock when an informal white house advisor, carl icahn, so his financial portfolio will buy $100 million after he suggested the changes. we made a big deal out of it. and guess what? just like rob does in the legislature, they backed down. okay? being competitive does not mean selling out for the short term to make a quick buck. it means investing in the long-term. so enforcing the trade laws is important to the economic corner. creating tax incentives for american businesses. create jobs here is important. we even have to think beyond that. technology is changing american work. and we need to be supporting new innovative startups and businesses that can support a change in workforce. workers are also looking perfect ability. i have a millennial so i know this.
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and looking to the economy to find it. but too often, when they find flexibility, they do not have security. that is not right. i'll party must get behind big ideas on how workers can share corporate profits and take benefits with them from job to job to better build up their savings. that is reality and that is the way forward. the other piece of this corner, we cannot afford to shut out talent from around the world to drive out the people call this country home. look at the fortune 500. more than 70 are led by immigrants. those are american companies. 25 percent of us - were born in other countries. so some people when they talk about immigration reform, i think it was think about people on the coast.
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we know something different on the midwest. many rural communities where there was not a dr. for miles and miles. and then he put a program in place for the conrad 30. named after kent conrad the former product senator from north dakota. and i'm leaving the continuation of this program with heidi heitkamp and others. if you are educated at his school and you want to stay here for a few years, you can do that as long as you go to a rural or underserved area. and it is keeping alive the medical workers going in our hospitals. okay? so when we talk about immigration reform people need to understand that it matters. in our state. whether it is hospital workers or other areas. third,, infrastructure. i know how important this is a mistake because i live eight
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blocks away from the i-35 bridge that collapsed in the middle of the summer day. as i said that day, a bridge just should not fall down the middle of america. especially not in an eight lane interstate highway.which is one of the most heavily traveled bridges in our state. not a bridge that my family drives over every day in the middle of rush hour. do you know what we did? we rebuilt that bridge. five persons were financing in 13 months. but what about the other bridges? what about the bridge a partially collapsed last month in iowa.what about the highways we drive on every day to get to work? one but the energy grid that has not been updated since the 1950s? what about broadband? with a dr. in northern minnesota would look at x-rays, a cancer doctor. he could do it at the hospital but he could not do it at his house. he would have to drive to the mcdonald's parking lot to look
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at x-rays for his patients. for on one of the reservations, a young child gets modified in his house. he looks out the window and bears all of these kids in his yard. that was the only place that they can do their homework. we need a big infrastructure investment. the president said that is what he was going to start with. remember on election night? that was the first thing he said. it is too bad they have not done it yet. but guess what? the senate democrats have a plan. and we are willing to work with anyone or anybody to get it done. last - [applause] we need to keep cost down for american families for the cost of everything is going up. you know this.your cable bill, phone bill, healthcare, pharmaceutical. the bottom line is this. we need more competition. we have too much economic concentration.
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whether it is in the seed industry, healthcare or cable industry for the get prescription drugs. my daughter has a severe allergy. she is one of those kids that carries anepipen everywhere. and you said thattransfer it doubled, quadrupled. transport the price has gone up over 100 percent. we need competition in the form of the bill that i am leaving. to have medicare part b negotiate better prices for our seniors. right? [applause] we need to add generics and we need to bring in some less expensive drugs in canada. that is the amendment that bernie sanders and i had that we picked up.
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and that is the bill that i have with senator john mccain. [applause] like many in the room i believe we need to make changes to the affordable care act. we do not want to do what they did in the house on thursday. what the republicans did. that brings us backwards. here in the heartland, when you have a big bill like that we want to know the price tag. they do not even know how much it costs. you know, i had to make a decision at the end of last year. and donald trump had one and i had an opportunity to run for governor. and you know what i decided? i decided i was not going to leave my duty because the united states senate is the place to be. this is the place, this is the place where we are going to not
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only be a place of compromise but also an emergency brake. tax reform that helps the wealthy, we can stop that. right? as long as you have our back. [applause] a complete reversal of the work that we have done and president obama did to combat climate change and get out of the paris treaty that 195 nations have signed onto? we can stop that. [applause] any effort to rollback progress on lgbtq rights. something that we are on the forefront on, we can stop that. [applause] >> rolling back voting rights after we have seen what has happened. and it could not believe the story because we are always competitive with you guys. in minnesota, right? we are one of the top voting turnout and sometimes you do.
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you just handicap yourself because of what the republicans did in the legislature. we cannot let this happen on the national level. [applause] we can stop that. and because that any effort to disregard the distract from the russian interference in our election. [applause] they did it in 2016 and we know they will do it again. i spent the last week of last year with lindsey graham and john mccain in the baltics. and in georgia and in ukraine. and we were literally on the front line with ukrainian troops on new year's eve. right? which one do you kiss? we have both of those guys. and the president was there and 10,000 ukrainians died because of russian invasion and because of what they have done. 10,000 people! and then you hear the stories
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in estonia where they had the audacity to move a statue out of a public square and into a cemetery. what did russia do? shut off their intranet. right? in lithuania when they had members of the ukrainian parliament they asked us to come join them. just to come and celebrate the independence of lithuania 25 years.something we can imagine our own country doing. whether - russians then hacked into their accounts previous seen this before and we saw that again in france. but guess what?b one. right? that happened today. [applause] so as sean noticed, this is not just about one candidate or one party for one election. right? this is about protecting our democracy. and that is why four of us stood up on january 4 and you are still saying it now we must have an independent commission
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to investigate what happened in this last election. [applause] so yes, the senate is a place where we can stand up and do what is right. but it is not the only place. the other place is right here in this room and in this town. look at what happened the day after the inauguration. on day two, millions of women and men marched across this country. the majority of the had never been involved in politics except to vote. how many people in des moines? does anyone remember? 26,000. on day three, do not many women signed up and sent cards insane that they wanted to run for office when they never had before? 6000 women across the country said they wanted to run. [applause]
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on day nine since the inauguration when the refugee order came out, people just did not sit home and watch on tv. what did they do? they spontaneously showed up at the airports across the country. they would not have done that if they had not marched on day two. what else has happened since then? huge outcry against betsy devos. for the first time in the history of the united states american the vice president had to come in and break a tie on a cabinet nominee. the labor nominee, right danny? had to withdraw because of his views and the pressure that you all put on. and then fast-forward. the 100th. thousands of people from across the country market again to stay with one voice that we believe in science.we believe in science. and you know what and five and guess what? those are not all activists that have worked on campaigns
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before fear they would not be holding signs that my favorite one. what do we want? science! when do we want it? after peer review. [laughter] so if anyone asks you about being too loud about this and wiring marking and knocking on doors? you say, i am not just resisting, i am insisting on a better way forward. so as my daughter asked me all those months ago, what do we do now? first we hold the administration accountable to the truth and to the law and to the people. but we cannot if these four years out moping in the backyard as our friends said. and reacting just to the way. we have to be proactive and put on our own ideas. we have to go where it is uncomfortable. we have to listen and learn from our friends at work and other people that we do not maybe always agree with. and we have to do it everywhere in the country. because when the man in the white house is tweeting in the
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middle of the night's, in the middle of the dark, we are going to wake up in the morning and looked out the window and see the lights. the blue sky of iowa. right? we see those sunny days, the cornfields and the soybean fields and the wind turbines for miles and miles. that feed our families in fuel our local economy. we see the engine of innovation pumping out new ways to take on big challenges. we see people standing up and speaking out. sometimes for the first time. i think there are a few in the room that we could say for the what? 1001st time. we see people have really care. people and nurses and engineers and firefighters who work hard every day to strengthen our economy. we see potential and promise because this is america. you know, my state has the biggest somali population in the united states.
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and they have been a big part of our community and working in our economy. when you come up to the twin cities and you have a number of somalis here in iowa as well. so during the last presidential campaign, the experience think that they never experienced before.not even during 9/11. and i heard the story in the twin cities a few months ago the family that just went out to dinner with their two kids. and this guy walked by and he looks at them and says, you forgo home. you go home to where you came from. and the little girl looks up at her mother and she says, mom! i don't want to go home. you said we could eat out tonight! i do not want to eat dinner at home! you think of the words of the innocent child. she only knows one home. my state, it is your state. her home is in the united states of america.
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that's what this country is really all about. so i am with democrats, let's not think as you hear these great leaders tonight. let's not think of this as a moment in time just to overcome. right? let's think of this as an opportunity. a moment to shine. to show the world what america really stands for and to show the world what we are made of. let's start here, now on this great day in front of this amazing flag. thank you polk county democrats. [applause] in a moment we will go live to the u.s. senate here on
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c-span2. minority leader chuck schumer has asked all democratic senators to be on the floor this morning to get a majority leader mitch mcconnell speak opening the senate this morning. remarks will be sent to mcconnell's since last night. and at 10 o'clock was mine there is a procedural vote and the role to reduce methane gas emissions. i've met not to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer.

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